NFL COMBINE: Falcons interview Coby Fleener

Stanford tight end Coby Fleener interviewed with Falcons tight ends coach Chris Scelfo on Wednesday night. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Stanford tight end Coby Fleener interviewed with Falcons tight ends coach Chris Scelfo on Wednesday night. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

INDIANAPOLIS – Former Stanford tight end Coby Fleener, who ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay considers the top tight end in the draft, had an interview with the Falcons at a downtown hotel Wednesday night.

“I talked to the Falcons tight end coach [Chris Scelfo] last night,” Fleener told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday. “He seems like a good coach and a nice guy.”

The Falcons have the 55th overall pick in the second round of the NFL draft, which is set for April 26-28. Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez signed a one-year extension late last season and is expected to retire after the 2012 season.

The Falcons have studied the tight end position intensely over the last three drafts and have flirted with taking the likes of Brandon Pettigrew (Detroit, 2009), Jermaine Gresham (Cincinnati, 2010) and Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota, 2011). This may be the year they pull the trigger at tight end.

Fleener would have to slip past San Francisco, which is now coach by former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, to get to the Falcons’ slot. The idea of playing with the Falcons and learning under Gonzalez, sits well with Fleener.

“Absolutely, I’d like to learn from Tony Gonzalez,” Fleener said. “I’d be excited to.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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59 comments Add your comment

ANDY

February 23rd, 2012
4:47 pm

Hope the Falcons pick this TE

The Truth

February 23rd, 2012
5:22 pm

Depends on what happens in free agency, we have a lot of holes to fill, and to build depth at OLB, S, DT, DE, RB, OT, MLB. I expect a lot of undrafted free agents to be looked at as well.

Die Hard Falcon

February 23rd, 2012
5:22 pm

I hope that he lasts til this pick, if he’s there at 55, we have to snag him.

Die Hard Falcon

February 23rd, 2012
5:23 pm

The 49ers have Vernon Davis, I can’t imagine they’d use another high pick on a TE unless they don’t plan on having Vernon around long term.

waynester

February 23rd, 2012
5:29 pm

watch out for Da Bears on Fleener. They’re in a perfect spot to snatch him away from us…..

Sid

February 23rd, 2012
5:31 pm

……………and they could also be hoping that talking to Fleener causes another team to take him therefore dropping an OL or DL into their slot at #55.

william

February 23rd, 2012
5:32 pm

The Falcons need to draft defense. Abe and maybe Lofton could be gone in free agency. We need talent on D!!!

South ga boy in the atl

February 23rd, 2012
5:48 pm

TE is not a pos of need. With no No. 1, this is a luxury we can’t afford. Even if we resign Abe and Franchise Grimes we should go best DE or CB here. Gotta retool the O-line thru FA, re-sign Harry D (who will be special if we finally have an OC who will run crossing routes, as the Saints and Packers do heavily, and not resort to dink and dunk, and ole man Turner ISO LEFT AND ISO RIGHT FOR 2 yard avg) and Dent will fill in nicely if Lofton cost too much, which I’m afraid he will.

Rollo Lawson

February 23rd, 2012
6:05 pm

Give your 37 year old tight end $7 million and then turn around and waste a second round pick on another sounds about right for thisa clueless front office. More sad is that we have idiotic fans on this blog applauding the idea.

Falcon Fanatic

February 23rd, 2012
6:21 pm

With as many holes as we have to pick a TE would be ignorance in the highest order. Pass.

Here we go again

February 23rd, 2012
6:24 pm

It is difficult to get excited about this draft as we have no #1 pick. So many needs, so few picks.

If they get Garcia before the 7th round, they are stupid. Kid can be as good and as bad as it gets.

I am not a homer, but Brandon Boykin can take it to the house from anywhere on the field.
I hope the other DBs (except Grimes) watch Boykin- maybe he can teach them how to catch a ball.
Grimes already knows how to catch a ball.

Likewise, Ben Jones is the #2 rated center in the draft and he could play either guard position.

Only hope for Defense is FA. Mario W.

nash

February 23rd, 2012
6:39 pm

I love Brandon Boykin but the falcons need a guy that can play the nickle corner

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steven A. smith

February 23rd, 2012
7:07 pm

Fleener is A WR in a TE body. He can flat out fly.. LaMichael James in round 3 or Ganaway out of Baylor will be nice young backs.

Great Falconi

February 23rd, 2012
7:36 pm

I’d be fine with drafting Fleener. He has great size and great hands. You’re not going to get much more value out of the 55th pick than that.

(Don’t expect him to be there at 55, though.)

crabapplejoe

February 23rd, 2012
11:14 pm

Yep, Coby Fleener……..bring him home TD…..if he’s still around at the double nickle……

FalconJim

February 23rd, 2012
11:50 pm

I would pee my pants if we were to be fortunate enough to snag Fleener!!!!! He’s a beast…..and learning from TG for a year would make him even better. That would solve our TE position for many years to come.
Bring him home TD!!!
Besides, we can beef-up the O-line and D-line through FA, if we play our cards right…

mark

February 24th, 2012
12:28 am

It would definitely be a good snag if he falls that far. I feel that the birds are gonna fill Oline in FA. They need some proven guys right away. With MS and TD being in the hot seat protecting Matt will be a priority.

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Whopper Dawg

February 24th, 2012
2:44 am

TD would be an idiot to select a TE this year unless it is late. Massive problems on both lines and we will go for a TE to train behind TG? Great idea if we were a good team, bad idea now.

But I am sure that is what TD will do, idiot.

June Jones

February 24th, 2012
4:16 am

The NFL doesn’t need tight ends! I have developed a new offense call the shoot-and-run!

Falco peregrino

February 24th, 2012
4:18 am

If the Falcons are to pick a TE in the draft, then they’d better have an aggressive and successful free agency on the defensive side of the ball first.

dirtyo11

February 24th, 2012
6:54 am

We need to D. I know we need a TE but D is the main issue NOW. We need to be agressive in the draft & FA for defensive players. You can get a steal at TE through FA or in the 3rd or 4th rnd

rollo lawson

February 24th, 2012
9:05 am

Tight End???? Are you serious??? How soon we forget. 24-2.

rollo lawson

February 24th, 2012
9:11 am

How is a second string tight end going to get us over the hump next year? Please explain all you Coby Fleener Lovers! You do know that if we don’t win a playoff game next year, Smith and possibly Dimitroff will be gone? I don’t remember Arthur Blank referencing in that state of the franchise press conference the need for another TE as a solution to our problems. He stressed protecting the QB, running the ball better (offensive line play), and hitting someone on defense.

PMC

February 24th, 2012
9:16 am

Not getting my hopes up for this one. I don’t think a TE will be the pick at 55

I Dat

February 24th, 2012
9:51 am

Doug Martin anyone?

I Dat

February 24th, 2012
9:55 am

the way I see it is this:

Turner and Gonzalez probably have maybe 1 more good year each before TG retires and Burner’s production seriously declines. TE and TB are two positions we need to get young at and I got news for you: Snelling and Rodgers aernt the answer at TB. I had a chance to watch several BSU games this year and Doug Martin really looks like he fits. a decent bit weaker than Turner but much more mobile. Looks for the hole instead of blindly assuming it will be there and running into the back of his linemen which Turner does constantly. Could be just what we need

Delbert D.

February 24th, 2012
10:05 am

If the Falcons go for an OL in the draft, please let it be a 295 to 305 athlete, and not some 330+ tub of lard. The projected top 4 offensive linemen are all in that range (Kalil, Reiff, Adams, Martin). Average of 299 3/4, 6-6 1/4.

Orlando Dawg.

February 24th, 2012
10:26 am

Don’t think Mike Smith will be fired next year.With Mike Nolan and the new Offensive cordinator he will get atleast 2 years to change things.But drafting a TE when you need other help would not be wise.

rm

February 24th, 2012
10:38 am

No way! Too many other needs than TE. Try to develop the Palmer guy from Clemson, he seems capable. Anyway, I’ll say it again: Last year’s move to trade-up for Julio has set this team back 2-3 years at least.

collegeballfan

February 24th, 2012
10:51 am

The final decision on who to draft will not be made by Mike Smith. He coaches what the front office gives him.

And yeah they need help at all 22 positions. The problem in the draft is who is there when it is your turn.

A replacement for Tony G at TE is a must. The big decision is where do you get him. And do you turn down one of the top 2 TE in the draft if he is available when it is your turn?

PMC

February 24th, 2012
10:52 am

Vinny Curry – Marshall. DE.

thouhtful

February 24th, 2012
10:52 am

Orson Charles or Brandon Boykin will have a bigger impact and that is not homeing it. TD can’t BLOW THIS DRAFT!!!!! NO MORE Anderson’s, Peria’s, Baker’s we gotta have guys who can make an immediate impact! If the plan is to get to theSUPER BOWL!

Joshua Malavenda

February 24th, 2012
11:26 am

alright all you fleener haters, Coby Fleener will be a star and is very versatitle. The falcons will pick him if he is there at 55. He can add some added depth to the wr core and can play the other slot postion in the 4wide set that dirk plans to install here. We will get our ol and dl needs in fa and we will get our replacement for turner in the draft.

Prime Time

February 24th, 2012
11:31 am

I can still cover….

What about Palmer?

February 24th, 2012
11:36 am

What about Michael Palmer? He was a diamond in the rough we got as a undrafted free agent two drafts ago!!! Excellent kid with great football sense and tremendous upside. Are the falcons planning on using him at all?

Sec128 Season Ticket Holder

February 24th, 2012
11:38 am

We NEED O-LINEMEN & D-LINEMEN ! ! !
You have got to be kidding me a TE with the 55th pick.
Come On Mann……

Dub

February 24th, 2012
12:00 pm

FYI – The 49ers run 2 TE sets more than anyone in the league besides New England

JSS

February 24th, 2012
12:10 pm

Palmer is a UFA… Until he resigns, you can’t count on him…

JSS

February 24th, 2012
12:15 pm

Scratch that… An exclusive rights free agent… But it is still a matter of resigning him…

Jeff B

February 24th, 2012
12:19 pm

yeah but exclusive rights guys can’t leave unless we cut them…

JSS

February 24th, 2012
12:24 pm

You can cut them, but you get compensation the next year… Palmer is nice, but he’s not going to stretch zones or scare safeties out the middle of field. He’s been the 4th option in endzone sets…

JSS

February 24th, 2012
12:31 pm

If he takes it or leaves the offer (they have offer last year of the three year veteran deal), or if he quits and leaves the league for say a Canadian deal, then that is all they are required to offer him. That is not a lot of money (under the new CBA)…

JSS

February 24th, 2012
12:39 pm

So would you rather pay Palmer at the minimum, $430,500 or pick-up a possibly better late round TE or UFA off someone’s practice squad at around the $360,000 or $285,000 level?

CrαZy

February 24th, 2012
12:53 pm

We need so much…. I just can’t see them picking someone at 55 that won’t contribute this year.

Paddy

February 24th, 2012
1:05 pm

It should be a lineman or db, can’t imagine picking a te that high right now.

Kramer

February 24th, 2012
2:00 pm

No way this kid is around at 55. Would be a nice pick.

The Mask

February 24th, 2012
2:30 pm

thouhtful

February 24th, 2012
10:52 am

Orson Charles or Brandon Boykin will have a bigger impact and that is not homeing it. TD can’t BLOW THIS DRAFT!!!!! NO MORE Anderson’s, Peria’s, Baker’s we gotta have guys who can make an immediate impact! If the plan is to get to theSUPER BOWL!
—————————————-

Orson Charles was a good receiver as a TE in UGA’s passing game, but he proved he couldn’t block for sh*t when he wasn’t asked to run a route. He could be a #1 TE one day if he works a ton on the blocking but he’ll be a #2 in the league for several years before he’ll get a chance to prove he’s a legit #1 guy.

And I just laugh at you even mentioning Brandon Boynkin. If he’s lucky, and I mean LUCKY, he’ll wind up being half as good as Eric Weems. All he’ll do is KO returns because he’s an extremely sub par cover corner. While not exactly short at 5′10, he only weighs maybe 180-185 soaking so if he play CB at all in the NFL, he will get beat routinely by bigger, stronger WRs who will exploit his weak press and bump and run coverage.

You’re on crack if you think Boynkin will have even a decent NFL career. All he will do is return kicks because he’s an absolutely terrible cover corner. Being a KO return man is fine, but unless you are Devin Hester like